x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE sedition trial: six secret meetings held over two years

Investigator says he found evidence including video footage of group linked to Brotherhood

ABu DHABI // A security official testified he had been investigating a group of defendants accused of sedition and found a secret organisation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood seeking to topple the Government and take control.

The witness testified in the trial of 94 Emiratis accused of running an illegal group, the main aim of which, he said, was to take over leadership of the UAE, showing complete obedience and loyalty to the group, rather than the country and its Rulers.

They then used their committees, administrations and offices to gather more members and train them to use social media to defame the UAE and its Rulers, he said.

The security officer said he found evidence including sound recordings and videos of six secret meetings over the past two years.

The evidence showed discussions about topics such as the Arab Spring, investments and financial concerns, and education and jobs.

One of the defendants, S?Q, argued the witness’s evidence did not prove the organisation was trying to topple the Government.

“We are all intellectuals, we sit together to discuss education and other important aspects to develop the country,” he added. “Does that mean we are trying to overtake the Government?”

Specialists from the Ministry of Justice were asked to be present in court to look over the evidence, which will be sent back to the laboratory in Dubai, and then a detailed report must be provided. Specialists in the lab will compare the defendants’ voices to the evidence.

In a statement to the state news agency Wam, the ministry said it would assign four experts to look at the defendants’ financial accounts.

At the end of the hearing, defendant F Z, who previously asked to travel to the US for heart surgery, said she provided a medical report from Mafraq Hospital to the court.

The judge said the medical reports showed recommendations only and not the treatment plan.

One defendant, A Z, said he had been ill-treated. The judge asked the prosecutors to look into the incident immediately. The case was adjourned to April 16.

aalkhoori@thenational.ae